Friday, July 30, 2010

It's 4:30 in the morning. Do you know where your kids are?

One of mine's in there!!!

Yep, Jeff is out in the shop every morning at 4:00AM.  I usually join him by 4:30 or 5:00.
We get a few things done and figure out what's next before we knock off at 6:00 in the morning so he can get ready to go to work and I have my oatmeal and tea. 
I return to the shop to catch up on various parts that need more "love" ( filler and smoothing).
Jeff is working half days this week so he usually gets back to the project by 1:00 in the afternoon and then we get the next batch ready for base coat and clear; dry sand with 400 grit, move into the spray booth and then tack off.

Last evening we had another batch of finished parts,

the vertical stabilizer and,

the horizontal stabilizer.
We let them dry overnight and bag them in paper in the morning.

Life is good!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beginning week four!

Addressing the last of the little pin holes and little gaps in the fiberglass parts with two part filler and a razor blade.  We are finally down to the nit picky.

Jeff brought home the last of the fittings needed for the new air dryer/filter.  We finished putting up and taping in place the visqueen walls of the spray booth.

By evening we had hung the ailerons and flaps, gave them their last tack cloth wipe and shot them with a two part catalyzed white base coat.  Waited fifteen minutes for them to tack and gave them a second coat of white.  They ended up flat "bone white .  Perfect!
Time to shoot the gloss coat....

Two layers of clear gloss and they look "WET"!!  Unfortunately a bit too wet in some places because there are some runs we will have to deal with later but, Whoot!  Whoot!  NO ORANGE PEEL!

Orange peel was my biggest fear and it looks like we have a good handle on that.

I'm taking today off.  My wife has a day off from care taking her mom!  We are going to meet at some friends in Olympia and spend the evening/night!  A much needed break for both of us!!
Stay tuned. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

The end of the beginning

Time to shoot the metal etching primer on the fuselage, starting underneath.

Then on around the rest of the plane in sections.

And then one coat of sandable primer.

What do you mean you didn't want it gray??
Just kidding.
Twenty one days into this project and we are finally, almost, ready to start shooting color and clear!!!
Be still my heart!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grand Paw was getting grumpy.

Too many hours, too many fumes, too much dust.  Shaved off the beard to help make the face mask fit better but just getting way to grumpy.

Hours of sitting and sanding, sitting and sanding.  It's never gonna end!

And then.....,  there's my grandson needing some help putting his plane togther.  So..., Well, why not!  Take a break.  Kick back.  Do something fun!!

Later my son called from work to say the weather forecast is good, let's rent a plane and fly to Hoquiam for a hamburger!!!   Whoot Whoot!

The view leaving the Tacoma Narrows airport.  The old and new Tacoma Narrows bridges.

On final for Hoquiam airport.

Return flight past the never finished nuke plant, Satsop, with Mt. Rainier in the distance.
All in all, a very nice break.
Today, Saturday, my other son is taking me to the Puyallup "Good Guys" Annual Auto Show.
But, Monday is coming.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Progress report

We have almost all the smaller parts and pieces filled and faired and primed for the final event, base coat/clear coat.  All that remains to be caught up to that level of finish are the wings and the fuselage.  Last evening we built supports that hold the wing where we want it for painting.  We are planning on shooting the metal etching primer and sandable primer on this wing tonight.  The other wing Friday evening and the fuselage this weekend.

We removed all the masking so we could see what the cowl to canopy fairing turned out like.  We are very pleased.  It took seven progressively wider layers of fiberglass cloth and a lot of filler to smooth and fair but now?  Perfect!

And here is the Targa.  What a nail bitter.  It is just a two and a half wide strip of four layers of fiberglass cloth bridging the gap between canopy and rear window but.... It could have been a disaster.

Slowly the RV grin is starting to appear.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nerve Wracking

One of the last major fiberglassing jobs was laying up the "Targa" . The clear plexiglass canopy comes from Vans in one piece and Jeff had to cut it in half; the forward half over the pilot/copilot and back half becoming the rear window. The "Targa" is a four layer glass "lay-up" that gets bonded to the plexiglass canopy but not to the rear window. We waxed the rear window and put playdoh in any cracks where the resin might migrate via capillary action. Then I did the lay-up.

Neither Jeff or I slept very well that night worrying about our possibly gluing the canopy shut permanently!! In the morning we went out there and discovered there was no way to get any movement between the canopy and the rear window! I sharpened a wood mixing stick to an sharp blade edge and worked it under the fiberglass and the rear window and managed to get a little bit to "un-mold"; I could see a slight color difference where it became unstuck from the rear plexiglass. So I worked my little stick all the way up and over the rear window working the fiberglass lay-up loose. That done it still wouldn't open. Then we took a wood block and held it up against the bottom of the canopy lifting handle and rapped it a couple of sharp blows with a plastic hammer; both sides. Still nothing. Solid as a rock!! I'm figuring some resin must have got down in the joint between the canopy and the fuselage, but where. It was then that Jeff noticed the canopy hatch was locked! Jeff released the lock and it swung up and open just like it is s'posed to!! E-gad!! 

Ahh!  Perfect!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Squirting Primer

We are starting to run out of things to fiberglass and fill.  We are starting to actually spray sandable primer on parts for final sanding to "make smooth" before finish paint.  But just the fiberglass parts.  The rest of the aluminum will get sprayed with "metal etching" primer.
Maybe by this weekend we can start thinking about spraying on some color!

Between times I have been swimming laps while my grandkids have their swimming lessons.  That only happens on Mondays and Wednesdays at six in the evening but still, it is nice to get in a pool now and then.

We also had some nice weather and went to the park at Lake Tapps and swam in the lake.   It was a bit refreshing when first getting in but warm enough to stay in once there.  Nice!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


All the shine has to be rubbed off with Scotch Brite prior to priming.

Today should be the last of the "knocking off the gloss" of the fuselage and empenage.  The wings yet to go.

Meanwhile I'm Mr. Bondo man doing the filler work on various areas that need "smoothing".

The parts are piling up.  Hopefully we start shooting primer by the middle of next week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Arlington Air Show.

Grand Paw and grandson pose by one paint job.

There was this incredible paint job.  Way beyond our ability but overall, what we saw on most of the planes we feel is within our abilities.   Well see.

And then there was the air show.  Very entertaining and a nice break from paint prep but now, back to work!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Break time.

Early morning waterskiing on Lake Tapps with Mt. Rainier in the background.  That's not me.  That's son Jeff.  I'm just the photographer!  Next we are off to the Arlington EAA Fly-In.  There will be a "ton" of RVs there to look at.  We have our list of issues to look for concerning paint jobs.  See how other builders did it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boring! But not to me!

There is a lot of fiberglass work that needs to be addressed before we start thinking about paint.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It begins

Today we start getting this plane ready for paint.  I will be living with my son and his family for a month while working on it but last evening I got to swim laps while my grandkids had their swim lessons!!  Nice!